Many householders in Cwmbran and Abergavenny often ring me to ask if there is a problem with their electrical supply. Understandably they are not sure if it is safe to continue to use their electrical appliances at home or if they should call an electrician.
The basic advice is if you suspect a problem with an electrical appliance, unplug and stop using it immediately, however if you suspect a problem with your actual electrical installation then consult your local qualified electrician who will be happy to come and take a look.
Many electrical fires are caused in homes in the UK through improper use of electrical appliances. This means that often electrical fires can be easily prevented by making a few common sense precautions when using electrical appliances.
I have compiled an essential list of electrical safety tips which can be adhered to by any householder. It does not require any expenditure in many cases. Remember if in doubt do not take any risks and consult an electrician as soon as possible. The sooner the problem is rectified, the cheaper it is to repair.
Essential Electrical Safety Tips:
Do not pull electrical appliances out of sockets by the cable, always pull from the socket by the plug. This avoids any damage to the flex.
Never plug adapters into adapters. In fact, avoid adapters completely and opt for extension leads. The same rule applies though, never plug an extension lead into an extension lead, and limit the use of extension leads where possible. Do not exceed the Amps shown on the extension lead, think carefully about what appliances you plug into an extension lead.
Switch off electrical appliances when not in use. This is especially important at night time as a fire could start undetected from an appliance that is still plugged in. When you go away on holiday, ensure that all non-essential items are unplugged to minimise the risk of electrical fire and to save energy.
Do not use any electrical items in the bathroom, as this is highly dangerous, particularly hair dryers which could easily fall into a basin or bath full of water. The exceptions to this would be for items designed specifically for use in bathrooms, these being items such as shavers and electric toothbrushes, even when using these, take extra care when plugging and unplugging sockets and take care not to get such items wet.
Check the cords on electrical appliances, particularly to ensure the plug is securely in place and there is no obvious signs of damage on the cable itself. If any damage is found, do not use the appliance. Check items regularly.
Always turn electrical appliances off at the mains before attempting to carry out any maintenance such as changing a light bulb, cleaning filters on hair dryers and cleaning. Only attempt repairs if you know what you are doing.
- Ensure that when purchasing electrical items, they are brought from reputable sources and inspect the appliance before use. Ensure the instructions are followed for correct set up.
Do not use electrical appliances outside if it is raining.
Always ensure you use a Part P registered electrician to carry out electrical work in your home and do not be tempted to carry out DIY electrical work in your home. By following these common sense tips when using electrical equipment, you will minimise your risk of electrical fire breaking out in your home.